President of India, Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon will be seen traveling in an aircraft equipped with ultra-modern security equipment like US President Donald Trump. To meet the travel needs of the President and the Prime Minister, two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will be purchased at a cost of Rs 8,458 crore. For this, an allocation of Rs 810.23 crore has been made in the budget 2020.
Finance Minister gave information
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her speech said on Saturday that two new aircraft would be purchased for Special Extra Section Flight (SESF) operations and an allocation of Rs 810.23 crore is being made in the budget for the financial year 2020-21. Prior to this, an allocation of about Rs 4,741.85 crore was made in the last two budgets i.e. 2018-19 and 2019-20. These aircraft will now replace the 25-year-old Boeing 747 aircraft used for these VVIP fleets. Currently, Boeing 747 aircraft are used for the visits of President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. New aircraft may come into service by July.
Air India One will be signed
These aircraft will be signed by Air India One (AI-1 or AIC001). This sign is an indication that the President or Prime Minister is boarding the aircraft. In 2006, Air India placed orders for 68 aircraft to American company Boeing. Both VIP aircraft are also part of this order. Both these aircraft will be used only for VVIP trips.
No less than trump aircraft
The aircraft is equipped and secured with the same advance system as the Airforce One (Boeing 747-200B) aircraft used by US President Donald Trump. The Indian Air Force will take care of the maintenance of this aircraft as before. According to defense experts, this aircraft made of special type of metal has all the latest facilities. Aircraft capable of dodging enemy radars can also retaliate at any time in the event of an aerial attack.
Sitting in this plane, contact can be made from anywhere, anytime, with the head of any nation of the world. Also, there is an arrangement to make food for 100 people at one time and store food for 2000 people in this aircraft. This aircraft has air refueling facility to fly indefinitely.
Able to stop missile attack
This aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art communication facilities. Its round-the-clock security system can be gauged by the fact that it can withstand grenades and rocket blows and dodge enemy radars. Not only this, the aircraft can also launch a missile attack on the enemy. This plane has 24-hour doctors available for any emergency and it also has an operation theater for emergency. Along with this, telephone, radio service, computer connection, 19 TV sets and all office equipment are also available.
Air India has not given information about the cost of these aircraft. But in terms of market value, the purchase of these aircraft will cost the exchequer about 8,458 crore rupees ($ 1.18 billion). For this assessment, we have taken into consideration four special components – engine, cabin features, missile defense system and aircraft type. According to the Boeing Company, a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft costs $ 375.5 million. But this deal was done only in 2006 and after that the price has increased significantly. In the last six years itself, the list price of this aircraft has increased by $ 55.5 million per aircraft.
Former Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had said in 2018 in response to a question in the Lok Sabha that the cost of the cabin system of both aircraft is $ 132 million. It is a two-engine aircraft, so four GE90-115BL aircraft have been purchased for both. Therefore, the cost of both engines can be around 110 million dollars. The government has allocated Rs 5,552 crore for the purchase of these aircraft so far.